It sounds so simple to say that if something stresses you out you should stop doing it. However, sometimes it is not that easy. I think about the volunteers that I have worked with in the past and currently and I think about how there has to be people who serve around me that feel the stress of working with kids and teens and don't know how to step down, or feel pressure to stay where they are even though the joy is gone.
You may be thinking what pressures keep volunteers from stepping down or to even speak up about how they feel. Well, some that I have experienced are:
- They don't know where else they can serve within the church.
- They see the overwhelming need of volunteers and don't want to add to that.
- They don't want to disappoint those who are leading the ministry.
- They don't want the kids to feel like they are abandoning them.
Those are only a few of the pressures that volunteers face and many of them are extremely valid and hard to navigate without talking it out with the leader of the ministry or with trusted friends. A leaders job is to get people into their sweet spot of volunteering and serving God.
We are called to serve others, but we should not be holding people back from moving out of a stressful situation and into their sweet spot of volunteering. If some of the pressure can be addressed so that they can continue to serve where they are that is great, but if they need to move on we should be helping them find that spot.
A leader should never place the pressure of finding a new volunteer on the person moving into their sweet spot. God provides and there is someone within the church who's sweet spot IS within your ministry. The leaders job is to help that person see the vision of the ministry and for the new volunteer to step in and run with their new role. We want to keep our volunteers from giving up on serving.
As I read Not Normal last week I had so many great internal conversations with myself about our culture of volunteering and how to make it stronger and how to help volunteers feel more equipped to engage our kids on how they can live out their faith everyday. When we engage our volunteers to move from stress to sweet spot we show that serving out of joy is way better than serving out of obligation.